Last November, at home with her four young children, 35-year-old Kymberli Petronio, of Damascus, Maryland, suddenly became nauseated and passed out. It wasn’t the first time she had fainted without warning.

 

A Health Scare

Kymberli first inexplicably fainted over a year earlier in February 2015 with her husband, Chris, and children nearby.

“I was completely terrified,” Chris said. “She fell down right in front of me and turned blue.”

Kymberli sought emergency care at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, the same hospital that provided excellent care to her triplets one year earlier in the neonatal intensive care unit. Afterward, she met with Sean Beinart, MD, an electrophysiologist at Adventist HealthCare, who offered a new solution — a loop recorder.

“I was so pleased with Dr. Beinart’s attentiveness and interest,” Kymberli said.

Dr. Beinart implanted the tiny heart monitor on Kymberli’s upper chest, where it could record her heartbeat for three years, hopefully offering a diagnosis.

“The loop recorder is used in patients who pass out from time to time, but not frequently enough for other types of monitors and tests to catch the event,” Dr. Beinart explained.

Seeking a Diagnosis

Kymberli Petronio and DaughterFast forward more than a year to last November.

Kymberli fainted a second time. Her heart had stopped beating for 18 seconds before miraculously restarting on its own.
But this time, thanks to the loop recorder, Dr. Beinart saw Kymberli’s heartbeat pause.

“If I didn’t have that monitor, we would have totally blown it off and assumed I had a stomach bug,” said Kymberli, the mother of 3-year-old triplets and a 5-year-old son. “We don’t know that my heart would have restarted the next time.”

The loop recorder allowed Dr. Beinart to diagnose Kymberli with a rare heart rhythm disorder that causes the heart to beat too fast or too slow, often causing fainting, weakness or heart failure.

Dr. Beinart immediately brought Kymberli to Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, where he implanted a pacemaker to ensure her heart continues to beat regularly.

Back in Action

Kymberli Petronio and Her Kids

Kymberli said she is alive today because of the heart monitor that allowed doctors to diagnose her condition and react quickly when she fainted.

“We all feel so much safer now, knowing my heart is not going to stop while I’m driving the kids or running errands,” said Kymberli, who is back to taking her children to the library, cooking dinner and playing dress-up with confidence.

Our heart experts diagnose & treat heart rhythm conditions with the loop recorder and other advanced approaches.

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